Job opportunities for data scientists and Hadoop specialists are emerging across industries, from Web companies and e-retailers to financial services, healthcare, energy, utilities and media.
"There are so many directions you can go in with these [data management] skills," Hill says. "It's very fertile ground for experienced IT professionals, but also for people coming out with computer science degrees. It's a great area to specialize in."
Bhambhri says IT departments will be looking to hire new people in the area of big data as well as to retrain some of their existing staff to add data analysis and Hadoop-related programming and administrative skills. For example, IBM retrained 2,400 IT professionals at Big Data Bootcamps that it held for its customers and partners last year.
RELATED: Get Hadoop certified ... fast
"The IT departments really have to expand their data platforms and not be restricted to structured data repositories," Bhambhri says. "They have to bring in new sources of unstructured data in their platforms to answer the questions that C-level executives are asking for their decision-making processes. From an IT perspective, it's very important for the IT folks to not only identify these data sources but to work with their business counterparts to discover what other sources of data need to be seamlessly integrated into their platforms."
IBM has a new initiative called Big Data University aimed at training undergraduate and graduate students in the area of big data and exposing them to Hadoop. Launched last October, Big Data University has already attracted more than 14,000 students to register for its online courses. IBM offers six online courses related to Hadoop and big data.
"We are trying to get the students to really see the potential of big data and what the business outcomes can be from these new sources of data," Bhambhri says. "We're giving them use cases from retail, healthcare and telecommunications companies. We're showing them what was not possible before is possible now because of the work we have done with different customers in these different industries."
Bhambhri is optimistic about the career prospects for IT professionals with data management and Hadoop skills.
"In every industry, there is a lot of data that is getting captured, whether it is sensor data or log data or data coming from social media like Facebook and Twitter," Bhambhri says. "The volumes of the data are huge. So what has been happening is that a lot of our customers are capturing the data, but until now there was no technology that was available that they could use to analyze this data quickly in a cost-effective manner. That was a huge bottleneck. Now we read what Yahoo and Google are doing around Hadoop and MapReduce, and it certainly looks like these open source tools will solve that bottleneck."
Read more about infrastructure management in Network World's Infrastructure Management section.